Difficulties at Work

My current job–a call center gig–revolves around verbal communication, a skill in which I’m significantly lacking. It also revolves around relatively quick auditory processing and high energy–skills which I’m also found wanting.

This past Monday, during a team huddle on WebEx, I leaned to the side of my work desk to look at my notebook as I momentarily paused to gather my thoughts to write something down. After a second, the idea I had to write down evaporated in my mind. Toward the end of this brief, awkward maneuver of my body, my boss, working from home like most of the rest of the team, asked me if I was Ok. I responded briefly to the effect that I was checking my notes. She then told me to set up straight, with face forward. She may have also added a little chuckle.

A fuller explanation of my bodily contortion that apparently annoyed her is that my desk is a dining table stationed horizonataly against a wall. My set-up is two computer monitors, a laptop and keyboard–this takes up virtually the entire space between the keyboard and the wall. It seems easier for me to place my notebook to the side of the table if I need to make a note or consult the notebook.

I felt my boss was possibly treating me in a patronizing fashion. In relatively mild fashion, it fed into my insecurities about appearing to be awkward and looked down upon. Perhaps she would have said something similar to a neurotypical co-woker if the latter appeared to her as being in an awkward body position during a WebEx chat. I also was upset that my wit was incapable of giving a fuller explanation of how the set-up of my computer equipment and desk make it desireable to have my notebook situated at the side of the desk and thus cause me to lean to the side, apparently awkwardly from my boss’s perspective.

As I continue in training, I worry greatly that I will be unable to handle the very heavy multi-tasking, auditory procesing and sensory load the job requires. I fear that I will be too slow in terms of understanding the requests of callers, especially those who use imprecise language or have accents. My trainer is an extremely hyper, fast talking gentleman. He is highly personable and his earnest and wholesome demeanor has its appealing side but his nasal, nerdy voice can also be grating. He talks non-stop and it is hard to keep up with him. I’ve had a hard time with the executive organization necessary to organize the notes and other training materials necessary to provide me with the knowledge to do the job. In the second half of the day, my eyes frequently get fatigued from constant staring at a computer screen. The trainer, in his aggressive way, constantly peppers me with various questions about topics he has gone over with me and I frequently can’t remember the right answer. I’ve made a much stronger effort this weekend to go over my notes so as to reinforce my knowledge. I only wish that I can have more control over my own training, learn in the ways I learn best rather than being lulled into a near stupor by being forced to listen eight hours a day to the never ending stream of fast talk of my trainer. The trainer seems congentially incapable of being concise in his speech; the other day I gave the wrong answer to a topic he quizzed me on for review purposes. He then went into a lengthy tangent about why the answer was wrong and why people might reasonably think the wrong answer was the right answer. I remember my attention span weakening as my mind desperately tried to pick out clues in his discourse about what the right answer might be.

On Friday, I was upset that some of my co-workers were apparently slightly irrirtated that I unwittingly shared my computer screen with them as interacted one-on-one with my trainer. I’m sure that my reaction to this incident has been at least a little over-sensitive–but that is the way I am. I have great difficulty in brushing unpleasant incidents off. Sometimes I’m paranoid but often my fears our well grounded. I’ve been treated abrasively and looked down upon in the past more times than I can possibly count because of my flat demeanor, learning disabilities, etc. Masking in order to have adequte verbal communication with the neurotypical world is extremely exhausting–I’m not wired internally to engage in such communication in a “normal” way.

Published by freedautist819

I'm an over-educated, underemployed Autistic (Asperger's Syndrome) trying to find my way in the neurotypical world. I'm using this blog as a sort of diary documenting my struggles. I don't pretend to believe that every interpretation I make about the world is correct or that my reaction to every stimuli is the one which a perfectly rational individual would make. I do however believe that I'm fairly intelligent in many ways; I also believe that the perspective of autistic people too often gets buried in the discussion about our experience. As I'm on the autism spectrum, perhaps I can provide insights as I share my struggle. To donate: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/AutisticFreedom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: